January new car sales down


January new car sales down

January new car sales down on last year but significant improvement in emissions

New car registrations were down by 3.5% compared to January 2019. Last January 32,370 new cars were registered but there has been a decrease in the first month of 2020 with 31,251 new vehicles sold.

There was an increase in the amount of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) sold with a 2.1% increase of 5,666 vehicles sold compared to January 2019 with 5,548 Light Commercial Vehicles Sold. 

Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) also had an increase of 8.8% with 385 being sold in January 2020, compared to the first month last year, when 

The big decline though was in used car imports. Just 6,623 used cars were imported into Ireland in January which was a 26.4% reduction on the figures last year when 9,003 used cars were imported. 

It was also noted that there was nearly a 6% reduction in the average CO2 emissions from new cars. The average was 108.33g/km, which was a 5.8% reduction compared to the same period last year when the average emissions were 115.04g/km.

Sales percentages by engine type:

  • Diesel 42.1% 
  • Petrol 39.6%
  • Hybrid 13.6%
  • Electric 2.9% 
  • Plug-in hybrid 1.8%

There was an increase in new electric car registrations in January with 898 registered compared to 799 January 2019.

January is considered as the most important selling month on the automotive calendar and with a decline in registrations in some quarters is worrying to the industry. Certainly, the introduction of the NOx charge on January 1st appears to have reduced demand for older used imports and in many instances, the cost of bringing in a used car from the UK is prohibitive.   

There are many factors conspiring to undermine the market, particularly the uncertainty about Brexit, confusion about the environmental message being put out by the government and manufacturers and in particular the introduction of NOx emissions which has everyone panicked because of the cost implications.  

All this uncertainty will not help new car sales in 2020. Going on January figures, it is projected that there will be 111,245 new car registrations which represents a decline of 5% on the 2019 figures.